Have Bags, Will Travel: Trips and Tales – Memoirs of an Over-Packer

By D.G. Kaye

Have bags, will TravelMy Review

Have you ever read a book that could have been written about you? D.G. Kaye did just that.

Case#1 – She’s a shopaholic.  Well, I love to shop, though maybe not as much as she does. Christmas shopping, back to school shopping, birthdays, anniversaries – I could shop for days on end.  I love buying gifts for others, furniture for our home, the list is endless.  The author loves to buy so much more, in fact shoes are her favorite shopping item. The problem is she shops when she travels and has to have a way to get it home without customs finding out she packed more than she is allowed to bring back. As you will see, she goes to great lengths to pack creatively.

Case #2 – the suitcase.  My husband thinks my suitcases are overloaded, but I never have to pay for overweight luggage or an extra suitcase.  I have a few packing tricks up my sleeve to get everything to and from with some room to spare for purchases. Ms Kaye, on the other hand, has tricks galore.

Her friends personalities are much like the author’s, and their escapades will leave you chuckling.  Well, not exactly.  They will have you in stitches. Follow D.G. Kaye as she travels to Paris, London, Las Vegas, Greece, Venezuela, and Arizona. You will be fascinated with her description of the transition from old Vegas to the Vegas we know today.

I’m not about to go into detail about her shopping trips, the size of her suitcase, or how she manages, or not, to get through customs. You have to read the book to find out. However, I promise, you will be laughing from page one to the end. Written with such vivid detail, you will feel you are right there watching the spectacle of someone who loves to shop too much, trying to get everything home without chucking it on the way to airport.  A delightful story, HAVE BAGS, WILL TRAVEL, is a short book that can be read in one sitting.

Do I recommend HAVE BAGS, WILL TRAVEL? Absolutely!

Excerpt From Have Bags, Will Travel

Airport Security

Returning home from a vacation is always a nerve-racking event for me. Instead of flying home and basking in the memories of the wonderful time I’ve just had on vacation, I repeatedly go through my receipts from the trip so I can carefully calculate how not to exceed the fixed limit we’re allowed to bring back without penalty. I must remember which receipts correspond to the tags I’ve already cut off so I can take them out of the pile. More math!

Most people don’t worry about such things—but I have to. It’s practically like my face is on a milk carton: HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WOMAN SHOPPING? For decades now, I’ve been consistently pulled over at customs. A planeload of people pick up their luggage and sail through the exit doors to freedom, and one person (and her husband) get singled out for interrogation. This happens on ninety percent of my trips. Why is it that I’m picked out of two hundred and fifty passengers to be interrogated? I lament, but I’m familiar with all the tricks by now: don’t wear flashy jewelry, don’t dress up, try to blend in. I can’t help it, though. I have what I’ve identified as shopping face. . .

Author’s Note

When I began writing this book, it didn’t start out as a travel memoir. After many drafts and revisions, I realized I had been writing two books in one, and decided to keep the one book as a short stories memoir about some of pitfalls I endure when I travel. Throughout the years, friends and family who found my escapades humorous, and sometimes unbelievable, urged me to write a book about some of my adventures, and so this book was born. Many who have read this book are tagging this book as the perfect airport read.

About the AuthorD.G. Kaye Author

Debby Gies is a Canadian author, and writes her books under the pen name of D.G. Kaye. 

I’m a nonfiction memoir writer who likes to write about life, matters of the heart and women’s issues. My intent is to inspire others by sharing my stories about events I encountered, and the lessons that come along with them.

I love to laugh, and self-medicate with a daily dose of humor. When I’m not writing intimate memoirs, you’ll find me writing with humor in some of my other works and blog posts.

When I was a young child, I was very observant about my surroundings. Growing up in a tumultuous family life; otherwise known as a broken home, kept me on guard about the on-and-off-going status of my parent’s relationship. I often wrote notes, and journaled  about the dysfunction that I grew up in. By age seven I was certain I was going to grow up to be a reporter.

Well life has a funny way of taking detours. Instead, I moved away from home at eighteen with a few meager belongings and a curiosity for life. I finished university and changed careers a few times, as I worked my way up to managerial positions. My drive to succeed at anything I put my mind to, led me to having a very colorful and eventful life.

Ever the optimist, that is me. I’ve conquered quite a few battles in life; health and otherwise, and my refusal to accept the word ‘No, or to use the words ‘I can’t’, kept me on a positive path in life.

I love to tell stories that have lessons in them, and hope to empower others by sharing my own experiences.

MY BOOKS:

At a young age, I began keeping journals to keep notes about my turbulent childhood while growing up as an emotionally neglected child. Tormented with guilt, as I grew older, I was conflicted with the question of whether or not I was to remain obligated to being a faithful daughter, feeling in debt to my narcissistic mother for giving birth to me. My first book, Conflicted Hearts is a memoir, written about my journey to seek solace from living with guilt.

My writing relates to my experiences in life, and I like to share the lessons and ideas I acquired along the way. Meno-What? A Memoir, was written based on my own passage and experiences going through menopause. In that book, I share some of the many symptoms I encountered, hoping to shed some light and humor on what women may expect or experience at that unpredictable time. I also offer up some of my helpful hints I found useful for relief.

Words We Carry focuses around women’s self-esteem issues; how and why the issues evolve, and how I recognized my own shortcomings and overcame my own insecurities.

My newest book Have Bags, Will Travel is based on memoirs of tales and reminiscings from some of my more memorable trips, which all factor in the same ongoing issues for me – too much luggage!

I write raw and honest about my own experiences, hoping through my writing, that others can relate and find that there is always a choice to move from a negative space, and look for the positive.

QUOTES:

                 “Live Laugh Love . . . And Don’t Forget to Breathe!”

                  “For every kindness, there should be kindness in  return. Wouldn’t that just make the world right?”

When I’m not writing, I’m reading or quite possibly looking after some mundane thing in life. It’s also possible I may be on a secret getaway trip, as that is my passion—traveling.

My favorite genres to read: biographies, memoirs, books about writing, spirituality, and natural health. I love to read stories about people who overcome adversity, victories, and redemption. I believe we have to keep learning—there is always room for improvement!

I love to cook and concoct new recipes (and I don’t believe in measuring cups), travel, and play poker (although I seldom get the chance), oh, and did I mention travel?

Please feel free to connect with me on social media and any of my author and blog pages at:

www.dgkayewriter.com

www.goodreads.com/dgkaye

www.amazon.com/author/dgkaye7

www.twitter.com/@pokercubster
(Of course there’s a story to this name!)

www.facebook.com/dgkaye

www.about.me/d.g.kaye.writer

www.linkedin.com/in/DGKaye7

www.google.com/debbydgkayegies

BOOKLINKS:

Conflicted Hearts

MenoWhat? A Memoir

Words We Carry

Have Bags, Will Travel

 

Secrets, Spies, and Spotted Dogs

By Jane Eales

 

Secrets, Spies, and Spotted DogsBook Blurb

Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs is a true story about the author’s adoption and her quest for truth and identity.  Told about her adoption at age 19, she was sworn to secrecy and forbidden to search for her biological family.

Decades later, a heart-wrenching family crisis and a longing to know about her origins and why she was adopted drive Jane to painstakingly research her roots in Harare (then Salisbury), Johannesburg, London, Berlin and Sydney.

Eventually she is warmly welcomed by her biological mother’s family in London and is astonished to learn that her mother was an attractive mysterious and charming woman – and a spy for the Allies during WWII.

The Imitation Game, and Foyle’s War set the atmosphere perfectly. Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs interweaves the author’s poignant search for truth abut her identity with the heart-pounding threads of WWII espionage at Arnhem in the Netherlands just prior to the ‘Market Garden’ airborne campaign.

 

Sample Chapter

CHAPTER ONE

The letter

The letter arrived in a drab brown, envelope stamped ‘official’. It was October 1966. I was nineteen, and had been living in Johannesburg for a year. I was staying in the YWCA, a centrally-located, purpose-built modern hostel for women. My room was on the fifth floor with a pleasant outlook over the city. Mum and Dad (Elizabeth and Benjamin) lived in Salisbury (now called Harare) in Rhodesia (now called Zimbabwe) and a year earlier, they had encouraged me to move to Johannesburg, and had also supported the choice of the YWCA as a place where I could live. Some years before this, James, my brother, who was seven years my elder, had moved to Australia.

It was standard practice for the South African Department of Immigration to contact new settlers at the end of their first year to see if they were planning to stay permanently in South Africa and if so, to invite them to complete an application for permanent residency. My letter contained an application form.

It seemed fairly straightforward; however, I needed my birth certificate. I looked for it in the document file in my cupboard, but it wasn’t there. Where could it be?

Then I remembered, Mum and Dad had done all the paperwork for my passport application a few years earlier, so maybe they still had it. In my next weekly letter home, I asked Mum and Dad to post my birth certificate to me. They probably kept it with my other personal documents in their safe at home in Rhodesia. With that done, I put it out of my mind.

After supper on the very next Sunday night, I was sitting on the edge of my bed in my hostel room choosing clothes to wear for the week ahead. The curtains were half open and the city lights twinkled Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs in the dark of the night. It had been a sociable weekend – with a great party the previous evening filled with new friends, guitar playing, and folk singing.

‘Jane, room fifty-two, please take a phone call in the lobby!’

The intercom announcement boomed into the bedrooms of all seventy residents. I had never had a phone call during my stay at the hostel, so generally took no notice of these broadcasts. There was a brief pause and the proclamation rang out again, and this time the voice was more insistent. I suddenly realised the announcement was for me! How embarrassing. I jumped up, pressed the intercom button, acknowledged the message, and dashed downstairs.

Who was it? Who would be phoning me?

This was long before the days of mobile phones, and at that time in Johannesburg, there was a long wait to get a phone connected at home. We were fortunate as the hostel had two public telephones in the lobby. No privacy though! The motherly concierge, as well as any residents with their guests, could hear every conversation. This did not bother me, as I was not planning to have any personal conversations. But who could be phoning?

‘Hello. Good evening,’ I said in my most confident voice.

‘Hello, Jane. It is Dad. How are you?’ Of course as soon as I heard his heavy German accented voice, I knew it was Dad. But why was he phoning me? What was the urgency?

‘Fine – thank you, Dad. How are you? How is Mum?’

Dad, characteristically, came straight to the point.

‘We are all right, Jane. Thank you for asking. We received your letter.’

Oh, yes. I remembered now.

Dad continued in the tone I knew so well that meant, ‘Do not question me; let me finish what I want to say, then please follow my instructions!’ Perhaps he was aware of where I was and that there was no privacy.

‘Jane, I won’t beat about the bush. I will say immediately why I am phoning you. Mum and I want you to fly home for the weekend next Saturday. It will be nice for you to visit and we can give you the documents you ask for.

Fly home, for just a weekend! I liked the idea of going home. It was quite a few months since they had visited me in Johannesburg. But, why did they want me home suddenly, at such short notice? Why fly all that way for only a twenty-four hour visit? This would be my first trip home since Christmas the year before.

Feeling apprehensive, I knew Dad did not want me to question anything over the phone.

‘Okay, Dad. That’s fine,’ I said.

He continued. ‘I’ll book the flight and organise for the ticket to reach you before you leave. Take a taxi to the airport on Saturday morning and I will pay. I will meet you at the airport.’

‘Thanks, Dad,’ I said. After asking Dad to give Mum my love, we rang off.

Wow! How exciting! The pleasure of looking forward to flying to Salisbury diminished any doubts or uncertainties about why I had been called home so suddenly. Life at nineteen was exhilarating and I felt as if nothing could go wrong.

There was little that could have prepared me for what was to follow.

 

About the AuthorJane Eales

Jane Eales was born in London and adopted into a family with a German refugee father, a British mother and a seven year old son.

She grew up in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) met Rob in Johannesburg South Africa and married in Oxford, England. They returned to South Africa and there she went to university. In 1980 the family moved to Sydney Australia.  Not long after this, the eldest of their three children was diagnosed with a disability. His health deteriorated markedly and in part to clarify the genes she had inherited, in 1990 Jane began to search for her biological family.

In 2005 she met her half-brother for the first time at Canary Wharf in London.  She was welcomed warmly into his family, now her family.

Overwhelmed with family stories, and as a way of making sense of everything, she began to write. As layers upon layers of her family history emerged, she was often asked ‘why don’t you write a book?’ Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs is the result. This is her first book.

Jane and her husband continue to live in Sydney with their children, grandchildren and friends.

Learn More About the Author

Website

Goodreads

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Author – Jane Rosalie Eales (Middle Harbour Press Pty Ltd)

Format  Print book and e-book.

Publisher  Middle Harbour Press Pty Ltd.

Pub Date – 2014, reprinted 2015

Page Count – 292

Genre – Memoir

Award – Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs was a Winner in the autobiography/biography category of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Award Program. It is the largest not-for-profit award program open to independently published authors worldwide.

Title – Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs   Subtitle: Unravelling mysterious family connections behind a secret adoption

Buy the Book

Middle Harbor Press

Amazon

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Amazon Canada

Amazon UK

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My Review

Family secrets? Every family has them. What is it like to find out at age nineteen, that your parents are not your birth parents, and what’s more, that you have been sworn to secrecy? Furthermore, your parents demand that you never search for your birth parents.  This is the story behind Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs.

This is Jane Eales own story. The author carefully researched her book, and in writing it, shared the shame and isolation she felt not being able to discuss her adoption with her friends.  It is a chronicle of her painstaking search for her birth parents.

Secrets, Spies and Spotted Dogs is a well written, easy to read memoir that anyone can enjoy, but that would be of great interest to those who have been adopted and to their birth and adopting families.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Michelle Clements James ©

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